February 29th occurs every four years, during a leap year. For some people it's just an extra day on the calendar. For others, particularly those who were born on February 29th, it's a day where they get to celebrate their birthday on their actual day of birth. A third reason that people make a big to-do about the leap year is because of Leap Day.
Leap Day is traditionally the one day where women are permitted without judgement, to ask for a man's hand in marriage. No one really knows for sure when or how this Leap Year tradition began. However, the most popular Leap Year story ever told seemed to stem from an old Irish folklore.
According to Irish history, the Leap Year tradition began in fifth century Ireland when Brigid, a Patron Saint of Kildare, went on behalf of herself and other single women to St. Patrick , and complained that women had to wait far too long for men to propose. Allegedly she insisted that some men were too shy or too afraid to propose to women. And, so to appease her and other women alike, St. Patrick created a decree that would permit women to propose to men on the last day in February; also known as the Leap Day.
The Reason Women Won't Propose, Not Even On Leap Year
While one in 30 women buy into this Irish folklore and see nothing wrong with proposing to a man, a third of women, nearly 29 per cent still believe that it's a man's job to pursue, court and propose. And, contrary to this Irish belief, most women find the idea of proposing to a man during the Leap Year rather tacky, and more or less as cliche as getting married on Valentine's Day.
With so many bad dating and relationship books on the market, such as He's Just Not that Into You, and the infamous Rules, it's no wonder women have been conditioned to wait perhaps a lifetime for a marriage proposal. And, as outright preposterous as the belief that he's just not that into you if you have to ask him to marry you is, most women would agree that if a woman has to ask, she's unworthy or seemingly desperate.
One might think that after decades of traditions that bound women into these so called identity roles, women would be elated to be freed up from one more gender restraint. However, in 2004 a research that surveyed 277 college students on who they believed should propose in a relationship, two-thirds of the students, both male and females agreed that the man should be responsible for proposing. When they were asked why? Many of them referenced to traditional gender roles, i.e., it's a man's job to pursue and propose to a woman if he wanted to be considered a man and or she a woman.
To conclude, even in the 21st century where people fight for justice and equality for all, we are still living within the confinement of old traditions, which do nothing more than keep us from living our lives as happy and free thinking humans being.
Collette Gee is a Relationship Specialist, Coach and Matchmaker that helps men and women love harmoniously and successfully. Click To Learn more about Collette Gee.
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